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Missouri didn’t support the Tour of Missouri for 2010

The task of the Missouri Division of Tourism is to attract tourists to visit Missouri  — and leave behind some of their money in the process.

ABOVE: Tour of Missouri 2009
ABOVE: Pro cyclists in St. Louis for the start of Tour of Missouri 2009

ABOVE: Tour of Missouri 2009
ABOVE: Racing teams have lots of support staff.

Without $1 million dollars from the state, the organizers had to cancel the 2010 Tour of Missouri. The tourism budget is roughly $13 million.  The poll this week seeks your opinion on the canceling of the Tour of Missouri.  The poll is in the upper right corner.

– Steve Patterson


A birthday extravaganza for St. Louis’ youngest alderperson

Kacie Starr Triplett was elected alderman in the 6th ward in the Spring of 2007, at the time she was the youngest member on the Board of Aldermen.  In 2009 Antonio French & Shane Cohn, also young, were elected in the 21st & 25th wards, respectively. Both, however, are slightly older than Triplett so she retains the youngest title.

A week from today Kacie Starr Triplett is having a combination birthday party and re-election campaign kick-off.

[click image to purchase tickets]
click image above for details and to purchase tickets

I was asked to serve on the host committee and I accepted.  In the past I’ve called for term limits and other measures to ensure turnover at the Board of Aldermen, has something changed? No, but I’ve been pleased with Ald Triplett so a second term in office is reasonable in my mind.  The event is June 19, 2010 from 7pm-11pm in the Grand Hall of Union Station.  Tickets start at $50 per person.  For more information or to order tickets click here or the image above.  With Ald Triplett’s birthday we no longer have any aldermen in their 20s.

In the Spring of 2011 we will have elections for the fourteen aldermen in even numbered wards. In order to have a choice on election day I’d like to see each ward have contested races. And since we still hold a partisan primary before the general I’d like to see each political party (Republicans, Greens & Democrats) have more than one candidate for each office. If not, we need to work to eliminate the partisan primaries as they are a massive waste of money.

– Steve Patterson


Fotbal has a long history in St. Louis

I am not a sports fan but I do like seeing the occasional baseball game in person.  But I don’t like football. I am, however, taking an interest in fotbal.  My interest first started four years ago when I was traveling in Toronto during the final match of the World Cup.

ABOVE: Toronto July 2006
ABOVE: Toronto July 9, 2006

The fans were everywhere displaying flags for their team.  The city went crazy.  I’ve since watched a few games on TV but not yet in person — but soon.  Tonight I will be at the Old Post Office Plaza to watch a free showing of The Game of Their Lives:

“The film details the true story of the 1950 US soccer team which, against all odds, beat England 1-0 in the city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil during the World Cup. The story is about the family traditions and passions that shaped the players who made up this team of underdogs. One group of teammates were from The Hill neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri. Another group came from the Corky Row district of Fall River, Massachusetts.”  (Wikipedia)

That is a great legacy!



The movie is free and should start around 9pm.  Bring food and a chair.  The Old Post Office Plaza is located on the north side of Locust St between 8th and 9th.

Much of the filming was done in Marquette Park (Compton & Gasconade).

ABOVE: Marquette Park in St. Louis.  Source: Google Streetview
ABOVE: Marquette Park in St. Louis. Source: Google Streetview

On the weekends local groups can be seen here playing soccer. This is a great use of our many city parks.  St. Louis has long been a city of immigrants and what better way to bring together various groups than soccer?

– Steve Patterson


The how and why of urban blogging

When I started blogging over 5 and a half years ago my goal was very simple: focus on something other than my dad who’d spent the month of October 2004 in the hospital after a heart attack.  At the time I had no lofty goal about what UrbanRviewSTL.com would be become.

Image: City Affair (click for site)
Image: City Affair (click for site)

Tonight I will be on a panel titled “Blog City.”

The ongoing conversation of urbanism and historic preservation of St. Louis architecture and its city form is largely fueled by buzzing blogs and their readership. With so much work to be done toward the revitalization of our city, we ask how web-based advocacy of the betterment our built environment plays a meaningful role in that revitalization with the following panel

Following forty five minutes of panel discussion we will open the floor to audience questions.

The moderator will be Chris Naffziger (stlouispatina.blogspot.com).  Details: Thursday, June 3rd 2010; 7:00-9:00 PM;  Urban Eats Café; 3301 Meramec Street; St. Louis, Mo. 63118.  Arrive early to order dinner and get a beer.  I’m happy to have Urban Eats as an advertiser on this blog.

The following is some of what I hope to present during the panel.  This is basics for  web-based advocacy.

Digital strategy:

  • The blog serves as the centerpiece of your communications.  You may think you can do just a basic website or Facebook page.  You could do that, but the reach of your message will be considerably shorter.  Start with a blog as the base, adding other pieces later.
  • A blog is a website but the structure is better than a static website that was used in the late 20th century.  Blog differ from static websites in that they present information in reverse chronological order.  All information remains in the database and can be found when searching.  Blogs can include static pages — either as the first page or as additional pages as my blog does.
  • Your blog/site should have it’s own domain (idea.com) , not a subdomain (idea.blogspot.com, etc).  Having your own domain costs very little ($10-$12/year) and looks more professional and is easier to communicate the URL to others.  From day one I’ve used UrbanReviewSTL.com even though my blog has been hosted in three different places using three different software platforms.
  • The feed from the blog will be used to get your message out to the masses.  Set your feed to display your entire post, not just an excerpt.  This allows people to subscribe to your feed and read your message in their reader of choice. If you provide only an excerpt some will go to your site to read the full post but most will not.  Decide which is more important — your message or page views.
  • If you are an individual with things to say consider trying to be a guest/contributor on established blogs.  I’m always looking for people with a passion for writing about the built environment.
  • If your group wants to get noticed you will want your own site.
  • In addition to the blog + RSS you also need a presence on both Facebook and Twitter.  Don’t pick just one or other, you need to be on both. Software makes it easy for your blog posts to post to both of these.  This provides more ways for people to find, read and enjoy your message.  Saying, “I’ll just do Facebook but not Twitter” (or vice versa) is saying “I want to limit who gets my message.”  Set up both!  There are many other social networks where you might want to be but these two are a must.  On Facebook you will want a page, not a personal profile.  On Twitter be sure to unlock your account so anyone is free to follow you.  Never ever talk about the number of Facebook Fans or Twitter followers you have or ask for more.

I decided a few months ago to share another passion of mine — food. In doing so I applied the ideas above to this new effort.  Here is a list of what I have:

  • BudgetVegetarianFoodie.com is the URL.  More on that later.
  • The Twitter account is @BudgetVegFoodie – the formal name was too long.
  • You can also find the blog on Facebook at facebook.com/BudgetVegFoodie
  • I then registered BudgetVegFoodie.com so the URL matches the Twitter & Facebook, this URL redirects to the longer name where the site is hosted.
  • In retrospect I should have started at Twitter to see what names were available and what would fit.
  • The blog has an RSS feed and the feed includes the entire post.   Thus, someone could read every post I do without ever visiting the site other than to get the feed URL.  Many news sites only give you an excerpt because they want you to be so into the post that you visit their site to read the rest.  Very annoying!

Comments are another area that must be considered.  If you are a business doing posts about your goods or services you do not want comments.  If you want to spark discussion about an issue you are advocating, you will need to have comments. Here are some rules:

  • Make it easy to comment — don’t force someone to have an account with Blogger, Facebook or other service just to add a comment.
  • Don’t hold comments up for moderation, this significantly reduces the level of conversation.
  • Allow people to disagree with your opinion.
  • Not all blog software is equal.  I use WordPress and it’s tools for weeding out spam are among the best.

I hope you can make it tonight, it should be an interesting conversation with differing perspectives on the role of blogging in urban advocacy.

– Steve Patterson


Pecha Kucha Night St. Louis #3 tonight, doors open at 7pm

ABOVE: KSDK reporter Casey Nolan emceed St. Louis first PKN on January 28, 2010
ABOVE: KSDK reporter Casey Nolan emceed St. Louis' first PKN on January 28, 2010

I attended the first two Pecha Kucha in St. Louis earlier this year (1/28 & 2/20) and I was blown away be the ideas expressed by the varied presenters.  Tonight  Michael Allen of The Ecology of Absence will be the emcee for the evening as the following make presentations:

1. Steven Brien and Elysia Mann / All Along Press
2. Jay Fram / Photographer
3. Kevin Crouse / SMS system to access the MetroBus and MetroLink system
4. Tim Gaidis / Architect, Biomimetifragilisticexpialidocious
5. John Beck / Sculptor
6. Gina Alvarez / Artist
7. Eric Hall / Musician/Installation Artist
8. Andrew Raimist / Architect, Designer
9. Steven Pigeon / Alice in Wonderland
10. Steve Patterson / Urban Review
11. Sarah Truckey / Local Harvest
12. David Isaac / Rock Wall – Climb So Ill
13. Jay Swoboda & Nate Forst / Sprout/EcoUrban

Yes, I’m the tenth presenter tonight, after the two beer breaks.  My presentation is on…well you will just have to show up to find out.

So what is PKN?

PechaKucha Night was devised in Tokyo in February 2003 as an event for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public.

It has turned into a massive celebration, with events happening in hundreds of cities around the world, inspiring creatives worldwide. Drawing its name from the Japanese term for the sound of conversation (“chit chat”), it rests on a presentation format that is based on a simple idea: 20 images x 20 seconds.
It’s a format that makes presentations concise, and keeps things moving at a rapid pace.

PKN St. Louis #3 will be held at Mad Art Gallery, 2727 South 12th Street. in the Soulard neighborhood.  Doors open at 7pm and the first presentation begins around 7:30pm.  The event is free and seating is limited.

– Steve Patterson